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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The High School Fire/EMS Department Cadet Program

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) and the Prince George's County Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department will begin training the next generation of firefighters and emergency medical personnel in the fall.

The High School Fire/EMS Department Cadet Program was jointly announced at a press conference on Friday, January 20, 2012, at the Fire/EMS Training Academy in Cheltenham.  County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Public Safety Barry Stanton were on hand for the event.  Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor, state, “One of the things we need to do better, and we recognize this, is to recruit more of our youth.  We need to get into the schools and get them interested in service and that’s what this program is going to do is to get us out there and give youth a fighting chance that they may not have otherwise had.” 

The High School Fire/EMS Cadet Program commences with the 2012-2013 school year and will recruit up to twenty-four 11th graders at Charles Flowers High School in Springdale.  It is expected that upon entering 12th grade, those students will continue into the second year of the program.  Subsequently, an additional twenty-four 11th graders will enter the program, making a total of forty-eight participants. 

This two-year program will allow students to take fire and emergency medical services classes, while providing 17 college credits to those who successfully complete the curriculum.  Additionally, students will graduate from the program with all necessary training to be nationally certified as firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians.

“We are equipping our students with the necessary tools to succeed, while helping the county to meet future public safety workforce needs,” said Dr. William R. Hite Jr., Superintendent of Schools.

“This is not only about helping in public service, it’s helping our education system making our children career and college ready.” Sated County Executive Baker, he concluded by saying, “It’s an exciting day for Prince George’s County.”

Charles Flowers High School was selected partly because of its close proximity to the Department’s newest facility, St. Josephs Fire/EMS Station #806.  The station, which is adjacent the school, has both a training tower and classroom.  Students can walk the 200 or so yards to the station where they will receive instruction in fire and emergency medical services.   

On Friday, PGCPS and Prince George’s County officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the cadet program.  In celebration of this joint venture and to “seal the deal” Dr. Hite, County Executive Baker, Fire Chief Bashoor, and Deputy Fire Chief Ben Barksdale then participated in a live fire evolution at the Fire/EMS Academy’s burn building.  The press conference was attended by several members of the Prince George's County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association and members of the Fire Chief's Community Advisory Council.

Dr. William R. Hite Jr., Superintendent of Schools.

Marc S. Bashoor, Prince George's County Fire/EMS Chief

County Executive Rushern L. Baker III
County Executive Baker stands up in the burn building to feel the difference in heat levels from the floor up.
PGFD Deputy Fire Chief Ben Barksdale, Fire Chief Marc Bashoor, Dr. William Hite and County Executive Rushern Baker after "sealing the deal" in the burn building.

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